A small wedding wasn’t this couple’s original plan but it turned into the perfect big day, full of sunshine, flowers and joyful celebration of new life. Our WED2B Real Weddings feature reveals more…

Kristen and Hailey first met about 15 years ago, when they were both in high school. “It was at the turning on of our town’s Christmas lights,” says Hailey. “We got together about five years later and have now been together 10 years, this year.”

A festive proposal

“Christmas is my favourite time of year, so Kristen proposed at Antrim Castle Garden Christmas Experience, in front of its large Christmas tree,” says Hailey. “He had invited all of our family too, so everyone important was there. I don’t think I have ever felt someone shaking so much in my entire life. It gave me an idea of what was coming, just before he asked!”

Shopping for the perfect dress

Hailey found her dress in WED2B’s Belfast store in January this year. “I have had a screenshot of WED2B’s Ashley dress on my phone since I got engaged, four years ago,” she says. “Little did I know when I bought it, that on the day of the wedding I would be 23 weeks pregnant! I was so glad I didn't buy a fitted dress. Ashley is made from floaty, chiffon and it complemented my bump amazingly!”

A changing wedding date

The couple originally booked their wedding venue, Hillmount House in County Antrim, for the 12th December 2020. “We booked it two years ago, on the first viewing, as we fell in love with the vintage feel of the house,” says Hailey. “The date we went for was in December, so we could have a Christmas wedding, but we got a surprise when I found out I was pregnant and due on the 29th Nov! By then Hillmount was offering an amazing deal for smaller, Covid-friendly weddings, so we decided to pull everything forward and only have just our nearest and dearest there instead. I’m so glad we did now!”

Stylish Small Wedding

Small but perfectly formed

The big day was on 24th July 2020. “I walked down the aisle to ‘Chasing Cars’ by Snow Patrol, which is our song. The weather was amazing but as soon as the day was over the heavens opened and it rained for hours. We couldn't have been more lucky! The colour scheme was burgundy, which is what we’d originally planned for our December wedding. I’m so glad we kept the same theme, as the photos turned out beautifully. We also had a stunning semi-naked Victoria sponge wedding cake, topped with fresh berries, to tie in with the colours. It was beautiful.”

Stylish Small Wedding

Strawberries and champagne

“After the ceremony, we had strawberries and cream with a glass of champagne, followed by photos. Then we all went on our way. Due to Covid we couldn't have the big night we’d hoped for, with a DJ and drinks, but I’m pregnant, so I wasn't complaining. We can have a big party next year, once Covid has settled. Then I can have a drink too!”

Stylish Small Wedding

A close call…

“One thing we’ll remember, for years to come, will be when my sister-in-law dropped both wedding rings, just before I arrived,” laughs Hailey. “She had everyone searching for them but luckily enough they found them both!”

Stylish Small Wedding

 My top tips…

“I really enjoyed having a small wedding ceremony with only close family,” says Hailey. “I wasn't nervous about the day at all. It might not be for everyone but I really would recommend it.”

Hailey’s Dream team

Photographer: Tracy Steele Photography (tracysteelephotography.co.uk)

Venue: Hillmont House (hillmounthouse.com)

Florist: Victoriana Floral (victorianafloral.com)

If you would like your big day to be one of our real weddings please click here to share your story and photos with us and we’ll be in touch.